Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Stolen Bride

The reissuing of my early traditional Regency romances continues with The Stolen Bride.

(The other covers for this series have been excellent, but I'm not keen on this one. For starters, it's set in gentle countryside, not amid dark hills. Randal, well, he's not at all Regency, is he, and looks very young. Sophie's a pretty minx with short reddish curls. Sometimes the art department gets it right, sometimes.... For contrast I'm sharing below the cover to the next book, Emily and the Dark Angel, which will be out in October. Almost perfect.)

In Lord Wraybourne's Betrothed, we meet Lady Sophie Kyle, young, pretty, and madly in love with her brother's friend, Lord Randal Ashby. Randal, a rake nearly ten years older than she, is carefully avoiding entanglement -- until a dramatic night of danger and death leaves them in a compromising situation.

Now, Sophie and Randal are soon to be married, but all is not well. Randal is avoiding her, and Sophie is struggling to find the courage to set him free. After all, he was forced into the betrothal.

Here's a snippet from early in the book, taken from a dining scene, seen through the eyes of a visitor to Tyne Towers.

Sophie was about to respond to this sibling taunt,but Randal turned her head and laid a finger on her lips. “Behave yourself,” he said with a smile.

“Behave yourself, behave yourself!” Sophie hissed.“That’s all you ever say to me these days.”

Silence fell and the whole table turned to listen.

Randal looked at her, unperturbed. “Do you know that the hippopotamus bleeds itself?” he said.

“What?” Sophie gaped.

“If it has overindulged on grass,” said Randal, lounging back in his chair, “or fish, or whatever a hippopotamus eats, it pierces itself with a sharp reed. When it has bled enough, it patches itself with mud. Read it somewhere. May I help you to more carrots, Sophie?”

“You’re mad,” said Sophie, rather flushed. “What has all that to do with anything?”

“I said something to you other than ‘behave yourself.” He kissed a finger and
brushed it lightly over her lips.

“Randal, behave yourself,” said the duchess firmly, causing a general laugh as everyone picked up their conversations.

Beth however viewed the lovers with concern. She understood Jane’s uneasiness. Something was certainly not right in that quarter.

This reissue is published by Penguin/NAL in New York, and available with free delivery worldwide from the Book Depository.

For more information about my recent and upcoming books, please visit my web site.

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